Archive for the ‘RFID biometric mobile’ category

GDPR Affects All European Businesses – What about the G.C.C. and U.A.E.?

August 19th, 2017

See our previous article on this topic for why your company may be affected if you are a branch of a European company, or have branches in Europe, or trade with a European company.

From May 25, 2018, companies with business operations inside the European Union must follow the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to safeguard how they process personal data “wholly or partly by automated means and to the processing other than by automated means of personal data which form part of a filing system or are intended to form part of a filing system.”

The penalties set for breaches of GDPR are up to 4% of a company’s annual global turnover.
For large companies like Microsoft that have operations within the EU, making sure that IT systems do not contravene GDPR is critical. As we saw on August 3, even the largest software operations like Office 365 can have a data breach.

Many applications can store data that might come under the scope of GDPR. the regulation has a considerable influence over how tenants deal with personal data. The definition of personal data is “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.”
GDPR goes on to define processing of personal data to be “any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.”

That means that individuals have the right to ask companies to tell them what of their personal data a company holds, and to correct errors in their personal data, or to erase that data completely.

Companies therefore need to:
- review and know what personal data they hold,
- make sure that they obtain consents from people to store that data,
– protect the data,
- and notify authorities when data breaches occur.

On first reading, this might sound like what companies do – or at least try to do – today. The difference lies in the strength of the regulation and the weight of the penalties should anything go wrong.

GDPR deserves your attention.

The definitions used by GDPR are broad. To move from the theoretical to the real world an organization first needs to understand what personal data it currently holds for its business operations, and where they use the data within software applications.

It is easy to hold personal information outside of business applications like finance and erp and crm e.g. inside Office 365 applications, including:
• Annual reviews written about employees stored in a SharePoint or OneDrive for Business site.
• A list of applicants for a position in an Excel worksheet attached to an email message.
• Tables holding data (names, employee numbers, hire dates, salaries) about employees in SharePoint sites.
• Outlook contacts, and emails. Skype business,
• Social media sites
• Loyalty programmes
• T@A systems
• E commerce sites
• Mobile apps e.g. What’s App

Other examples might include contract documentation, project files that includes someone’s personal information, and so on.

What backups do you have of the customer’s data?
What business data do your staff hold on BYOD devices e.g. in What’s App?

Data Governance Helps
Fortunately, the work done inside Office 365 in the areas of data governance and compliance help tenants to satisfy the requirements of GDPR. These features include:
• Classification labels and policies to mark content that holds personal data.
• Auto-label policies to find and classify personal data as defined by GDPR. Retention processing can then remove items stamped with the GDPR label from mailboxes and sites after a defined period, perhaps after going through a manual disposition process.
• Content searches to find personal data marked as coming under the scope of GDPR.
• Alert policies to detect actions that might be violations of the GDPR such as someone downloading multiple documents over a brief period from a SharePoint site that holds confidential documentation.
• Searches of the Office 365 audit log to discover and report potential GDPR issues.
• Azure Information Protection labels to encrypt documents and spreadsheets holding personal data by applying RMS templates so that unauthorized parties cannot read the documents even if they leak outside the organization.

Technology that exists today within Office 365 that can help with GDPR.

Classification Labels
Create a classification label to mark personal data coming under the scope of GDPR and then apply that label to relevant content. When you have Office 365 E5 licenses, create an auto-label policy to stamp the label on content in Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business found because documents and messages hold sensitive data types known to Office 365.

GDPR sensitive data types

Select from the set of sensitive data types available in Office 365.
The set is growing steadily as Microsoft adds new definitions.
At the time of writing, 82 types are available, 31 of which are obvious candidates to use in a policy because those are for sensitive data types such as country-specific identity cards or passports.

Figure 1: Selecting personal data types for an auto-label policy (image credit: Tony Redmond)

GDPR Policy

The screenshot in Figure 2 shows a set of sensitive data types selected for the policy. The policy applies a label called “GDPR personal data” to any content found in the selected locations that matches any of the 31 data types.

Auto-apply policies can cover all Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint and OneDrive for Business sites in a tenant – or a selected sub-set of these locations.


Figure 2: The full set of personal data types for a GDPR policy (image credit: Tony Redmond)

Use classification labels to mark GDPR content so that you can search for this content using the ComplianceTag keyword (for instance, ComplianceTag:”GDPR personal data”).

Caveats:
It may take 1-2 week before auto-label policies apply to all locations.
An auto-label policy will not overwrite a label that already exists on an item.

A problem is that classification labels only cover some of Office 365. Some examples of popular applications where you cannot yet use labels are:
• Teams.
• Planner.
• Yammer.

Microsoft plans to expand the Office 365 data governance framework to other locations (applications) over time.
Master data management
What about all the applications running on SQL or other databases?
Master Data Management MDM is a feature of SQL since SQL 2012. However, when you have many data sources then you are relay into an ETL process and even with MDM tools the work is still significant.

If you have extensive requirements then ask us about Profisee our specialist, productized MDM solution built on top of SQL MDM that allows you to do much of the work by configuration.

Right of Erasure
Finding GDPR data is only part of the problem. Article 17 of GDPR (the “right of erasure”), says: “The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay.” In other words, someone has the right to demand that an organization should erase any of their personal data that exists within the company’s records.

Content searches can find information about someone using their name, employee number, or other identifiers as search keywords, but erasing the information is something that probably also needs manual processing to ensure that the tenant removes the right data, and only that data.

You can find and remove documents and other items that hold someone’s name or other identifier belonging to them by using tools such as Exchange’s v Search-Mailbox cmdlet, or Office 365 content searches.
What if the the data ahs to be retained because the company needs to keep items for regulatory or legal purposes, can you then go ahead and remove the items?
The purpose of placing content on-hold is to ensure that no-one, including administrators, can remove that information from Exchange or SharePoint.

The GDPR requirement to erase data on request means that administrators might have to release holds placed on Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business locations to remove the specified data. Once you release a hold, you weaken the argument that held data is immutable. The danger exists that background processes or users can then either remove or edit previously-held data and so undermine a company’s data governance strategy.

The strict reading of GDPR is that organizations must process requests to erase personal data upon request.
What if the company needs to keep some of the data to satisfy regulations governing financial transactions, taxation, employment claims, or other interactions? This is a dilemma for IT. Lawyers will undoubtedly have to interpret requests and understand the consequences before making decisions and it is likely that judges will have to decide some test cases in different jurisdictions before full clarity exists.

Hybrid is even More Difficult

Microsoft is working to help Office 365 tenants with GDPR. However, I don’t see the same effort going to help on-premises customers. Some documentation exists to deal with certain circumstances (like how to remove messages held in Recoverable Items), but it seems that on-premises customers have to figure out a lot things for themselves.

This is understandable. Each on-premises deployment differs slightly and exists inside specific IT environments. Compared to the certainty of Office 365, developing software for on-premises deployment must accommodate the vertical and company specific requirements with integrations and bespoke developments.

On-premises software is more flexible, but it is also more complicated.
Solutions to help on-premises customers deal with GDPR are more of a challenge than Microsoft or other software vendors wants to take on especially given the industry focus of moving everything to the cloud.

Solutions like auto-label policies are unavailable for on-premises servers. Those running on-premises SharePoint and Exchange systems must find their own ways to help the businesses that they serve deal with personal data in a manner that respects GDPR. Easier said than done and needs to start sooner than later.

SharePoint Online GitHub Hub

If you work with SharePoint Online, you might be interested in the SharePoint GDPR Activity Hub. At present, work is only starting, but it is a nway to share information and code with similarly-liked people.

ISV Initiatives

There many ISV-sponsored white papers on GDPR and how their technology can help companies cope with the new regulations. There is no doubt that these white papers are valuable, if only for the introduction and commentary by experts that the papers usually feature. But before you resort to an expensive investment, ask yourself whether the functionality available in Office 365 or SQL is enough.

Technology Only Part of the Solution

GDPR will effect Office 365 because it will make any organization operating in the European Union aware of new responsibilities to protect personal data. Deploy Office 365 features to support users in their work, but do not expect Office 365 to be a silver bullet for GDPR. Technology seldom solves problems on its own. The nature of regulations like GDPR is that training and preparation are as important if not more important than technology to ensure that users recognize and properly deal with personal data in their day-to-day activities.

Support for Microsoft Dynamics in the U.A.E. – Dubai – and the G.C.C and more -Synergy Software Systems

June 9th, 2016

“Go with Synergy and sleep at night.”

That mantra was propagated by our customers in the 90s and is still the message today – that is why:
- we have many customers who have been with us over 10 years and some over 15 years.
- we received the Highest Customer Satisfaction Award from Microsoft
- we attained President’s Club status (top 5% of Partners globally)
- we are the only Dynamics Ax partner in the Middle East accepted into Ax Pact
- we are the only Middle East Dynamics partner to attend Connect at Seattle last year
- we regularly work with Microsoft’ s global platinum partners to assist their deployments in this region.

The reasons are simple.
Our business is built on support, not on selling licenses.
We don’t outsource,
We don’t use temporary staff
We don’t use freelancers
All our consultants are centralized, in large modern offices, in the heart of Dubai
We support customers globally with web dial in and screens sharing.
We maintain a support infrastructure for testing, patching analysis.
We participate in the Microsoft TAP programme for beta testing
Even the support receptionist is a Microsoft certified consultant
We support an manned CRM helpdesk -even the
If we can’t support it ourselves then we don’t implement
Those who implement and our know your people and your business and your build are there to support you.
We have the depth and breadth of skills that a small company cannot offer.
On average our consultants have more than 10 years experience
Our Dynamics team has more than 300 man years of relevant experience and numerous certifications

Synergy Software Systems -”Working together”
Find out why so many companies have benefitted from our post implementation project review to stablise their system to provide a firm platform to take them forward, so that they can leverage the full power of Microsoft Dynamics.
Let us help you to sleep at night.

Dynamics Dubai Careers – Synergy Software Systems

October 4th, 2015

Synergy Software Systems is a member of the Microsoft President’s Club and has provided stable employment since we were founded in 1991. Synergy is also the also the oldest Microsoft Dynamics partners in the region and has an experienced stable consulting team that is respected globally for its knowledge delivery and support. This is reflected in our membership for several years as the Middle East partner for Ax Pact a global alliance of some of the best Dynamics partners.

Our practise continues to thrive and to expand into new verticals and geographies. If you are a seasoned consultant with 10 years or more professional and consulting experience and at last 5 years in Dynamics, or at the start of your career have strong academics in relevant subjects. Even better if you have proven documentation skills, product exposure, and can speak good English and ideally also Arabic or French and lot more! We provide an excellent learning and support environment but there is also strong peer expectation (and competition). The result is one of the most senior and stable consulting Dynamics teams, and customer bases (many with us more than 15 years).

Next year the future includes Dynamics CRM 2106, Dynamics Ax 7, Sql 2016, Edge browser, Windows 10 Office 2015, Cortana Analytics, Holo lens, and much, much more with an azure platform that is built to dominate the cloud. Where is your future. We also have other world class practices fr example Enterprise Time and Attendance.

Do you have what it takes to be a Synergy consultant? Don’t expect to start at the top – without the credentials but Synergy on our cv will give your worthwhile experience. There is still a global recession there are many troubled areas and refugees – try Dubai and Synergy Software Systems for challenging work, ongoing career enhancement and stable employment.

Software selection – human considerations

October 3rd, 2015

To Organise and to manage a software selection project is not so easy. If you cannot get a critical mass of people deeply involved in the accounting software selection project, then think twice before starting. Change management is often given only superficial consideration. A new tool is of little use if no one uses it. It does little good for a company to spend $500,000 on anew accounting software, or ERP software when the people who will be using the accounting software systems cannot, or will not operate it effectively.

Is your company organized for success (culture, leadership style, business processes and finally business management . If not then you need to consider more carefully the role of the implementation partner and not blame the software.

In addition to the usual questions of :
• Can the software systems do what you the businesses needs?
• What operating and hardware configuration do I require?
Also ask
Do your employees have the ability to utilize these software or ERP solutions effectively?
Hoc an I change that?
Does my implementation partner offer industry and business knowledge and track record of enabling that change process in a company like mine?

Businesses try to work to policies- which are based on predetermined assumptions, conditions, processes, statutory and other constraints, and if effect embody pre-defined decisions. decisions.

The real world is full of exceptions. Companies use information to control day to day operations relating to the production of goods and services. This information is used to control budgets and cash flows and the best utiisation of assets. . Managers combine the latest information with their managerial experience to make sound business decisions within the policy guidelines..

The negative side is that this information is of little use when the data is not updated correctly on time, and or is not integrated. Thus all functions need to participate and collaborate- if one drops out and relies on manual or Excel systems alone then the integration loop is broken and “system” does not operate effectively. The key to the effective utilization of accounting software systems is the effective production of and access to timely a, accurate meaningful information to ensure timely informed decision making at all levels of the organisation. “Knowledge is power.”

Managers can make faster and better or worse decisions based on the available information ,but they may not even be aware they need to take a decision without information whether in an inquiry screen or a report, a bI dashboard, an alert or a kpi.

Advanced software can be sued to auto decide some decisions, or to make recommendations e.g mrp. or forecasting tools. genrall software systems do not make decisions. People do. When people are not provided with the tools they require to make these critical decisions, it’s very likely mistakes will be made. Some of these decision taking responsibilities are imposed upon by the market in which the company competes. Some are imposed by the owners or managers interpretation of how the business should be operated. However, the methods by which these decisions are made can only be formulated by each individual person, and that is why the software/human relationship is so importsnt.

Each person in any company is unique. So when defining just what software systems consider the unique needs of each person with whom the accounting software systems will “integrate” or how you will select those unique people who will be comfortable with the system

Each person who will be processing transactions (e.g. customer orders) must be given the opportunity to express their personal needs, for it is these people who will be required to operate the system. Further, each manager who will be making decisions based in part upon the information produced by the accounting software systems must express their reporting needs as well (e.g. Business Intelligence, Performance Metrics, and Exception Management ). It is only after these needs are identified and understood recognized that the broader corporate strategic needs should be defined.

At the core of these considerations is a clearly understood definition of what the company is to do strategic objectives , and it must do well in order to succeed- tactical excellence. The way a company organizes itself and controls the flow of information into and out of the accounting software systems, determines to a large degree how successful the accounting software systems will become.

As individual people define their needs, do not limit their responses to factors relating only to the software systems. Let them express their needs with respect to how they fit into the overall business, what information they require when, in what format, from other people, where potential bottlenecks may occur, and in general how the manual side of the business management processes should be controlled.

Selection of a new software systems does not eliminate the need for business process control procedures, and it is those procedures impact on the effectiveness of the new accounting software systems. Some people swear will champion software systems or ERP solutions, while others will believe those are seriously flawed and will cling to old, manual systems. Some will be reluctant to share knowledge- the basis of their experience and seniority. Some may fear new technology. others may worry more about social change – reporting to a new boss, working in a different office. Most people adopt new technology is every day life a new phone, car, tv etc, but don’t so easily change their personal relationships.-

One person sees the software systems as a friend, while the other as a threat. You cannot compare your new wife to your old girlfriend fi you want a long and happy marriage. All people, whether they have had computer experience or not, have developed some personal definition of what they consider to be “good” software systems. If the software systems you purchase meets these pre conceived notions, the task of learning and operating the system will be relatively easy. If the system does not make sense to people, then they will resist entering data, and undergoing training and errors will be made. Evaluate the degree of fit between your employees and the accounting software systems you are examining during your software selection project. The cultural fit with the consultants is equally important.

Tyr not to impose a new software systems on people. Consider whether they feel their opinion is as important as others, and that that the accounting software systems will assist them personally. WIFIM “What’s in it for me?”

While you might argue that first impressions can be changed over time, andc omputer system can seem quite a daunting challenge to . The operator, whether it is accountant, bookkeeper, or clerk can be suffering silence. This suffering might reach the point where the person is willing to consider another job.

No amount of patience, encouragement, or training will reduce this suffering. Mistakes will begin to occur more frequently as well. If the person does not leave, you may have to face the grim decision that their mistakes can be corrected only by removing them from the job. Has this achieved anything positive? Certainly not! If too many critical people in the organization resist the software systems, you can consider the selection project a complete failure. That’s why this evaluation of personal needs is so very important.

Any multi-user accounting system or ERP solutions will be operated by a number of different people with different job functions and different skill levels. The larger the system becomes, the more diverse these individual abilities become, and the more critical an evaluation of their relationship to the accounting system becomes.

Perhaps the least skilled person who might be called upon to operate the accounting software systems is a warehouse manager or even a shipping or receiving clerk.
Does the system meet their needs?
Does the menu structure segregate their input screens into one logical area?
Does the language used, particularly Help Screens, talk to them on their skill level?
Will the processing methodology make sense to someone with their relative skills and educational background?
Do they have to work in multiple systems?

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of training. If you want to remove fear, then you have to build confidence.
You need to reduce errors, not only for the business to avoid fear of personal embarrassment. These result from a lack of experience I.e training and practise with the new software systems.
Invest the time in practical training – understanding a demo does not make you fluent in transaction entry or in report analysis. Reading the highway code is not enough for you to drive – you also need 40 hours on the road experience. You also need an instructor by your side for sometime and to be formally tested and certified. If the investment in training appears formidable, then beware. The major lesson that those who implement cite is that they unde-rbudgetted time for training. Don’t be fooled by those who calm they can configure and get you live in a month or so with an accelerator, or a blueprint . Configuration is a relatively simple, job. Defining the right configuration need user interaction and the testing, To make that work needs their training and practice time. Transforming a an install into a working implementation is another matter. It is not enough to buy a tool you have to understand the many different ways to use it and build up skill.

Depending upon the vendor or product reseller you have selected to provide your accounting software systems, you will probably have several options open to you. If your system is a large multi-user installation, you might want to consider sending several people to a regional or national training seminar lasting several days. While expensive on the surface, this intensive class room oriented environment will enable these people to develop a detailed knowledge which can be passed on to others. Train the trainer really works.

Demonstration accounting software systems are excellent training tools. An even better one is a training company with your own Chart of Accounts, vendors, customers, and employees. This provides people the opportunity to experience a “real” data processing environment without running the risk that errors will lead to catastrophes.

One last point should be discussed with respect to training. Some people will find it difficult, if not impossible, to make the transition to new accounting software systems, or from one accounting software system to another, perhaps more powerful ERP solution.

While you might wish the accounting system or ERP solution could be installed with minimum problems, this may be your most significant hurdle. If the installation of integrated accounting software systems is the best alternative for your company, what is to be done with those people who cannot, or will not make the adjustment?

You must face the very real possibility some people may have to be replaced. It’s not a very pleasant thought, but do not delude yourself into thinking all people will be as excited about new accounting software systems as you are. Business is not easy sometimes, and this is one of those times. I do not like the idea any more than you do, but changes may be necessary for the good of the company and its employees.

Ask yourself if you know how to organize and control an accounting systems selection project. One of the greatest dangers is people assuming they know when in fact that are ignorant. They do it rarely in their business life. Can IT or choose a finance system, do they really know how to select a vendor or a solution? Manger’s need to have confidence in their decision making but often they do not know how to evaluate facts outside their core functional area, nor even what facts are needed to evaluate a solution. Its too easy rush into a demo and to benchmark everything against the first software seen .

In practice its better to spend sometime discussing your business needs, your change management challenges, and the business case and to focus on the implementation partner understanding and expertise. the right partner will guide you through the process and will not waste your time with inappropriate solutions, and then the demo will have some relevance to your needs. and you will have a better idea how to evaluate it.

Asset Management and Tracking in the U.A.E.

June 18th, 2015

It is no secret that Synergy Software Systems and Deyafa Systems work closely together in the hospitality sector.
One of the key technologies used is mobile tracking of assets with RFID and bar code.

Our solutions are implemented and supported by us for major groups in the region. This includes both the physical and financial asset lifecycle management

Track5000
The Real Asset Management’s (RAM( asset tracking application form allows your customers to perform regular audits and to keep a central, up to date register of their assets at all times.

The mobile app can use existing iOS, Android or Windows mobile devices to track and count assets, quickly and accurately at lower cost.

This app is an ideal solution for finance teams where routine asset tracking, or regular physical audits are often delegated to other department staff..

The mobile app integrates fully with RAM’s fixed asset accounting module for a financial asset register with comprehensive management of depreciation and asset values There is no need to purchase expensive scanning equipment.

Find out how you can :
• Minimise the number of lost assets
• Improve asset utilisation
• Quickly build a central asset register of all valuable or roaming assets
• Keep an up to date register for insurance purposes, warranty, and manufacturer details
• Manage the transfer, issue and return of assets to record accurate asset lending and location
• Flag items as transferred, located, missing
• Upload audited data to the central asset register
• Streamline your annual asset count and financial year end close and audit.

Synergy Software Systems, Dubai – in top 5% of Microsoft Enterprise Resource Partners

June 17th, 2015

We received confirmation from Microsoft of our attainment of the new Enterprise Resource Competency which has been by less than 5% of Microsoft Global Partner Network.

That ‘s why you can be assured of a successful, Synergy Software Systems Implementation – a 100% track record of successful projects with Dynamics Ax since we started the practice in 2003. Its also why the Highest Customer Satisfaction Award for 2014 also has Synergy’s name on it.

We are proud of our professionals.

We receive similar accolades across our solutions- for years the word in the hospitality industry is “go with Synergy and sleep a night” and why many of our Sunsystems customers have been loyal for over 15 years.

Value ultimately comes from competence and attitude and the results consistently shows that the right partner will give the right solution, service, support and price and deliver the right value.

Real Asset Manager- Mobile app! For your asset tracking-ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

March 5th, 2015

The mobile app provides the opportunity to use existing iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices to track assets, making the task easier and more cost effective. RAM’s asset tracking software allows you to perform regular audits and keep a central, up to date asset register at all times.

This solution integrates fully with RAM’s fixed asset accounting module if depreciation is required. There is no need to purchase expensive scanning equipment, just use your existing smart devices!
This app provides an ideal solution where routine asset tracking, physical auditing or the building of a central asset register is required.

Find out how you can:
• Minimise the number of lost assets
• Improve asset utilisation and reduce costs
• Quickly build a central asset register
• Keep an up to date asset register for insurance purposes
• Manage the issue and return of items
• Record asset lending
• Flag items as transferred, located or missing
• Upload audited data to a central asset register

Project success factors

January 31st, 2015

ERP implementation projects vary in expectation, scope, size, and complexity and risk.
So its no surprise that there are various proposals, duration, cost and different degrees of success and failures.While numbers vary, failure rates are high and even worse overall customer dissatisfaction is even higher. Its always surprising to me that new erp adopters somehow feel that the guidance of professionals and the evidence of many years of erp implementation experience don’t apply to them.

Experience is always important and helps to build a framework which guides the implementation project from inception to conclusion. All projects have a similar framework, you have to have some sort of organisation, some sort of definition of requirement, some design some build, some testing, some training and so on.

Each project an, project team and company is also very unique. Companies have unique cultures. They have different approaches to how optimize the trade off between the long and the short term, between optimisation of profit, quality and service, They have different ideas about empowerment, and knowledge sharing and control and segmentation of duties. Some have fixed polices and budgets, others are more agile and adaptive. Companies all to often indulge in wishful thinkng expect erp to subetitute for managerial shortcomings in such areas.

Implementation partners also confuse the process- they claim to have an agile philosophy but implement every customer the same way. While an accelerator or blueprint or core build makes sense for rollout across the same group where operations are similar e,g a retail chain, or a franchise, in a staple industry e.g. making bricks – it does not necessarily transfer so well to: another group in the same vertical, or across a group with diverse verticals, or to a group which is more fashion or design orientated.

Team roles vary and members have unique personalities, and hugely variable experience and skills both in their day to day functions and for project implementation. Often functions are in daily conflict-sales want instant production flexibility, manufacturing wants long runs. Purchasing wants to buy in bulk at a low cost, finance wants to conserve cash and reduce carrying costs. Marketing want to run a large tv advertising campaign manufacturing want the money to build a new factory. So it may take time to build a team. Often team members don’t know how their own business works outside their own function.
Change management and team building is a process. You have to do something for it to work. Its not enough to throw people together and talk about it for 10 minutes at the kick off. Those with ideas may not be the best documenters. those with most knowledge may not be the best trainers. Those with most project experience may not understand the business.

Managers have a unique style of leadership which impacts employees and creates unique interactions between the vendor and users. One individual in authority can overshadow decision making. Often IT or finance led projects do little for the operational areas who fid themselves tied up in layers of security and approval and budget control bureaucracy. Other mangers may sit on the fence until they see whether the project tis a failure or a success.

Companies strive for a unique competitive advantage which impacts the solution deliverables. The point important to understand. Even with a proven implementation methodology, there are variables within each unique implementation project which need to be managed to achieve a successful go live.

A Clearly Defined Project Scope Document – The goal of the project scope or user story document is simple; define how the “out-of-the-box” software will be used and agree what customizations or workarounds (if any) are required to fill in the gaps between the capabilities of the software and unique needs of the customer.
While the goal is simple, the creation and execution of the scope document is often a complex exercise. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, there are differences in interpretation. As an example, a WMS might have specific cycle count capabilities. However, the customer’s expectation of what cycle counting provides may be different from that of the software. If this gap isn’t identified in the project scope then the delivery of cycle counting will not be satisfactory to the customer.
Second, it is very common for the customer to identify and document 95% of their operations. But it is the 5% that comes up at testing or after Go-Live that causes considerable problems.
Report definitions are left late and it turns out the out of the box report is not so useful, and necessary data is not captured in the transaction to create new report, and now re-engineering is needed.
So expect to invest time in the early stages of a project in enough training to understand the out of the box features and to do early protoyping different options. Plan a detailed walk through of every screen and function of the software is performed.
Detailed Security and report definition just be done as part of the design not be bolted on afterwards.

A gap is not identified, if it is not documented. Once the scope document is finalized and agreed to by the any issues that arise that were not covered in the scope document are understood to be handled as out of scope changes. Before you ask for a customisation define the test script – that is the easiest way to avoid later dispute and to minimize rework.

Understand the respective roles of the customer and the implementation partner – It takes two hands to clap. Its customer’s project not the partner’s. Its not construction project built to an external architect’s design with a fixed set of plans.

What is expected of the Implementation partners – are they just hired to perform specific tasks like install and configuration of a standard design ads fast and as cheap as possible, or to lead change, and to introduce best practise. Does it make a difference what skills and experience are needed to meet the different objectives of the different project and expectations of each customer?. If implementers are expected to be obligated to perform those tasks competently and within the project budget. then the customer also has the obligation to assign the correct resources an skills and to take the timely decisions necessary to meet the project objectives.

A problem that all customers face is that an implementation project is above and beyond their normal work or company role. Nobody ahs the luxury of a full time project team sitting around. For many manager’s due to competitive pressures they are already stretched and overloaded due in their full-time role. Within the project, the manager must assume additional roles which take considerable time and effort and new skills. Few companies really understand this workload nor do they properly look a the constraints – they expect a partner to provide a detailed time and cost plan, before design is done and without any consideration of their won resource constraints(holidays exams, maternity, exams, audits , visits exhibitions, month ends, other projects…) nor do they seek ways to address those constraints with e.g. temporary staff, or temporary lightening of routine workloads, or paying for the consultant to do more of the work..

If the new roles are outside of the comfort zone of the employee(s), then they will attempt to shift the responsibilities to others and often back to the implementation partner. A warehouse manager spending an additional 20 hours per week testing may not be able to cope and will try to shift that effort to the vendor. This causes the vendor to consume budget hours more quickly which then results in cost overruns and the testing which should be done under the careful scrutiny of the customer is less likely to be successful. It is important to define the roles, responsibilities and expectations of the project team up front. The Project Charter should be created up front and be signed by the Executive and the project team- Maybe 5% of project teams get around to do this. Those tend to be the successful ones.

A realistic timeline – which is based on realistic resource availability and realistic scope – with a short as possible path to completion –
“Time kills all deals”. Projects that are planned to be long often lack focus and urgency short term. Those projects lose momentum, and struggle to allocate resources for such a long time, must contend with staff turn-over, and change in business needs and change in solution technology – eventually the initial design eventually become irrelevant leading to failure.

It is also problematic when a project is rushed to completion with only half the work done. Like Goldilocks, the project team must develop a timeline that is “just right” balancing the need to complete the project tasks thoroughly while striving to minimize delays. This is easier said than done. First, determine the timeline required to do the project tasks. A critical chain approach plans fast but builds in contingency. Each milestone is completed and signed off before the next starts.
Determine the possible Go-Live dates (notice the plural). Find the Go-Live date that fits the timeline but also allows you to schedule “flex” or “catch-up” blocks before critical milestones. These blocks drive the project back on schedule.
Customer Dedication to the Project – I can’t over emphasize the importance of the entire customer team being dedicated to the success of the project. And yet there are projects where members of the executive management team provide little or no assistance to the success of the project because they didn’t vote for it. There are internal politics between departments resulting in resources not being adequately allocated at key tasks. All too often there is a picture painted by both customer and vendor that it is the almost sole responsibility of the vendor to do the work. This approach almost guarantees failure. A successful implementation project requires dedication from upper management and throughout the department stake holders. A project needs a project champion. Everyone in the business is impacted if management is tied up so they all need to understand its importance to the company and to their future. That needs a communication plan.

Prototype and Test, – Your project plan timeline should have one of its largest allocation of time set aside for training and testing. Prototyping identifies how changing parameters can better impact operations. Testing investigates specific scenarios and data to identify and problems before Go-Live. It helps to identify process variations that might have been missed in the Scope Document. It provides training reinforcement which, in turn, makes users more proficient on the system. Create a large and high quality volume of test data – this is useful training practise. A good test will involve hundreds (yes hundreds) of transactions as will a good pilot dress rehearsal. You can test inquiries, reports, and response time with a few transactions.

Progress Meetings – At the end of the day, the customer should want to know whether the project is on-track or failing. Regular status meetings keep lines of communication open between the team members. These should be short (10 to 15 minutes) but can be longer if there are important issues which need to be discussed. At a minimum the team should review the project plan providing an update on tasks that were assigned during the previous week and an overview of tasks assigned for the upcoming week. Tasks that are no longer on schedule need to be addressed immediately and a plan created to get the tasks completed and the project back on track.

Steering committee reviews are also needed to review risks, resources, constraints, budget, scope changes, policy decisions where users cannot agree, etc.

Even more important is the post go live support- and what happens next. Users are frightened of new systems, They need hand holding to avoid early rejection. As they get familiar personalisations and fine tuning needs a rise. Initial month ends in areas lime inventory close, financial close, payroll runs neall ed expert guidance.

Once the system is operational system maintenance tasks become important. Staff turnover, new upgrade releases , wider use of system feature and enhancement of operations, new customer or statutory demands means there should be periodic reviews and expected investment in system maintenance and enhancement. Will the same consultant be around to do this?. How stable is that partner, and his team? Are they local, offshore or freelance? What is the worthwhile premium for a system that works. What does the reference evidence show – does the partner consistently deliver, what is his support track record?

In house or external You may be happy with your in house implementation but are you really qualified to judge? You may not know that you don’t know enough. Is the server and database really optimised and maintained? Are you still driving a Ferrari in first gear without knowing how to tune the Sat Nav, or radio,

There tasks it makes sense to do in house e.g adding new users, taking back ups, fine tuning workflows and security, data retention policies, update of costs and prices and budgets, external reporting etc.
However self medication and surgery can be dangerous. Maybe be not now but in 3 month or 1 2motmnhs alter when] slow running code or overblown tables start to hit performance or database back ups shoot up in size. Or worse you start coding or working manually when there is out of the box functionality readily available. You develop new code but who does the best practise checks, the documentation, the move form dev to test to live, the recompilation. And yes those are some of the reasons why projects fail.

A recent survey indicated that senior mangers are broadly equally happy with successful erp projects form any of the major software authors i.e. a round 85%satsifactiion . However when it came down to end users there as a significant i.1. around 20% preference for Microsoft systems. Whether the end user adopts the system willingly is a major factor in both the short and the long term success, especially when new users are taken on and expert users leave.

Gitex 2014 – day 1 with Synergy Software Systems

October 13th, 2014

After the official opening visitor increased through the afternoon-
The 281 inch Tv featured by our neighbours showing our Prophix Corporate Performance Management Software:

Solutions that attracted a lot of interest on day 1:

BRS Analytics – regulatory reporting for banks

Dynamics Ax – Education Admissions module
Dynamics Ax – Middle East Payroll module
Dynamics Ax – Flex property

BI4Dynamics

TCPOS – for retail and restaurants

Handpunch biometric for access control and T@A

AEC construction – BIM and Autocad tools were key points of interest in this amazing construction solution.

Infor Sunsystems – particularly for the hospitality sector

Prophix -Corporate Performance Management (Budget, consolidation, forecast, planning, BI workflow and reporting – one solution for all.)

This was one of the more colourful visitors to our stand.

EASA says O.K. to mobile devices on flights

September 27th, 2014

Personal electronic devices including mobile phones can be left turned on — and not just in ‘flight mode’ — during all phases of a flight, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has ruled. The agency said it is satisfied that personal electronic devices do not pose a safety risk when used on aircraft.

It is now up to airlines to conduct their own safety tests, to the satisfaction of EASA, before implementing the change, although each airline may decide to put in place its own policy.
The announcement means passengers could soon be able to make/take phone calls when inside an aircraft.

Of course, it will not be possible to get a reception while flying high in the air.
At the moment, passengers can use handheld devices during taxiing, take-off and landing, as long as ‘flight mode’ is switched on.

Business Process Review- Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

April 12th, 2014

Synergy Consultants recently completed a 10 day system and process review for a large organisation in Kuwait.

ERP Projects have to deliver an initial return on investment (ROI) to justify the cost and be considered successful. Business drivers for ERP projects may be:
statutory and compliance reasons
customer imposed e.g, for new services or to integrate with their systems,
to meet new competition,
to offer new services,
to enhance customer service, brand advocacy and loyalty
to extend erp into crm for pipeline management and social media engagement
to leverage new technology to streamline and to automate professes to get cost reduction and improvements in efficiency
to provide enhanced business analytics for better informed and more timely decision making
to increase agility and responsiveness
to support enterprise wide processes across multiple platforms rather than by function within the office network

This should lead organizations to focus on Business Process Management (BPM) as part of their ERP project, focusing on improving business processes to become more modern and efficient as well as providing an ability to execute and continuously improve.

Don’t forget the end users of the solution – the desired business value will only be achieved with successful execution of the ERP Project.
- Low end user adoption is a greater driver of value leakage than both flawed IT project execution and technology to business misalignment.
- Change management is a critical component of a successful project. Without effective change management, including business process documentation and process-driven training, the desired business benefits will not be fully realised.

Today’s businesses are increasingly complex, composed of a growing number of employees, locations, business processes and business systems. With this complexity, there is an even greater need to ensure that the appropriate due diligence is completed when assessing an ERP project to ensure ongoing stakeholder value is delivered.

Allegion (Ingersoll Rand: Schlage, CISA, Interflex, Steelcraft and LCN )

March 6th, 2014

On December 1, 2013 Ingersoll Rand plc converted its security division into an independent, publicly traded corporation and Allegion (www.allegion.com) debuted as a standalone company.
It is a synonym for innovative security products and solutions. Well-known brands such as Schlage, CISA, Interflex, Steelcraft and LCN are part of this new global player.

Synergy Software Systems still continues to provide the same specialist solutions for biometric access control, time recording and personnel planning.

As a partner of Allegion the spin-off does not change the contractual support ship of Synergy Software Systems customers using the Interflex, Schlage and Ingersoll Rand solutions we have implemented for them.

Dynamics AX mobile logistics – Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

January 21st, 2014

AX Anywhere offers Dynamics AX mobile logistics solutions for your business. we were the first partner to implement this system in Dubai and it has contributed to the customers significant growth in new business over the last two years. In fast moving systems real time update are essential. The more data to enter the greater the risk of mistakes. With a mobile solution you can capture document id, item code, batch code, serial code etc. with fast accurate bar code scans.

When there are crucial differences in structural or chemical properties, or part dimensions then the risk of error in data entry is not just administrative correction but may result in catastrophic failure after shipment.

Dynamics AX Anywhere offers mobile solutions for various business processes that are standard to the Dynamics AX experience, particularly in the areas of trade and logistics, production, sales and retail. In the trade and logistics realm, this product offers the mobile flexibility companies, especially those without a WMS, need while maintaining any level of security required.

AX Anywhere allows users to: receive, transfer, count, adjust and pick goods from any mobile device.

AX Anywhere gives companies the option of their users initiate any of these processes by scanning (or keying in) data, by selecting from a list (such as a list of shipments or products) or by working off of a user-created journal that directs the mobile user on exactly what products to count or move.

End user training time and cost in the warehouse is significantly reduced – no need to learn Ax transactions and navigation. Choose a transaction, enter document id, enter item code and quantity, and the rest is automated.

Receiving – scan, key in or select a product from a list to initiate a receipt. Begin the receiving process by selecting an already created item arrival journal.
Transfer order – scan, key in or select a transfer order from a list to initiate a transfer order between warehouses.
Move/Put-away – A, key in or select a product from a list to initiate a product transport within the warehouse via a transfer journal. ahead of time create a transfer journal in AX that contains a list of specific product moves you want to make, and then have a user in the warehouse select that journal with AX Anywhere to perform the moves.
Pallet transport – scan or key in a pallet license plate (LP) to initiate a pallet transport.
Count – scan, key in or select a product from a list to initiate a product count. Optionally, create a count journal ahead of time to specify the products and locations to count. Then a user can select that journal with AX Anywhere and perform the counts.
Adjust – perform a profit/loss stock adjustment on any product by simply scanning, keying in or selecting that product from a list.
Pick – scan, key in or select a shipment number from a list to initiate a pick.

There are several additional options available for customizing AX Anywhere to fit your needs through the use of parameter settings:

Allow the scanning of a GTIN to determine the unit ID used for a receipt, count or pick.
Prefill pallet quantity will assign a predetermined pallet quantity when receiving.
Turn on or off the requirement of scanning a location, item, batch, pick bin or license plate when picking.
Enter a note after picking is completed.
Print a pick license plate after picking is completed.
Auto-ship when items on a transfer order are picked.
Automatically enter the quantity when scanning an EAN128 during counting.
Set a deviation quantity for cycle counting

AX Anywhere also provides information on any product or pallet LP through the use of inquiries. For example, scan or key in a product number to view a list locations and quantities of that product within the warehouse.

AX Anywhere supports any device with a browser, and data is 100% real-time within AX.
It is integrated within AX, so implementation is quick and easy to replace current manual processes and will improve your operation’s productivity, accuracy and cost-effectiveness.

Ask us for details-better still see a working system.

Motorola -The TC55 has landed!

October 10th, 2013

This pocket-sized touch computer looks and feels like a smartphone and has all the rich features and durability workers need to access business-critical applications out in the field or in the warehouse.

The TC55’s Android operating system is enhanced with Motorola Extensions (Mx) to deliver ease-of-use with the enterprise grade security and manageability you expect.

The pocket-sized TC55 touch computer is already causing a
stir amongst mobile enterprise users, with its impressive range
of features that gives workers everything they need to operate
more smartly and enhance customer service.

Designed with field services, sales, merchandising, logistics, postal services, home healthcare and public safety personnel in mind, the TC55 reduces the cost of callouts, improves inventory management and enables real-time tracking and confirmation of deliveries.

IP67 sealing and comprehensive data capture capabilities help workers to operate more smartly and improve customer service.

Included as standard when you purchase the TC55, Service from the Start provides normal wear and tear repair coverage with a dependable three-day repair turnaround time, along with additional service options

Motorola TC55 touch computer – now available from Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

October 1st, 2013

New Motorola TC55 touch computer – for mobile workers. A major step forward.

• Do you have mobile staff?
• Do they need information and connectivity in one device?
• Is your IT department able to easily manage a mobile network and security across different devices?

The TC55 is a new mobile device: which combines the best features of:
• a traditional enterprise computer
• with smartphone functionality
• all contained in a package designed specifically for field mobility workers.

We are already seeing very strong demand for the TC55 across the region.

Enterprise mobility is changing; users expect to be connected 24×7 and as a result their professional expectations of data and real-time information are also rapidly increasing.

Consumer devices are becoming less expensive and more powerful and with increased Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) adoption they are penetrating across the enterprise.

The TC55 is our answer to this challenge.

At the heart of the TC55 is the Android Jelly Bean operating system (OS). While Android is the world’s most popular OS, it has always lacked specific enterprise features. To meet that challenge we have also launched Extensions (Mx) which fortifies Android for the enterprise with an added layer of security, manageability and performance features.

To further enhance our proposition we have also announced RhoMobile Suite 4.0 which provides enterprises and application developers with powerful development and deployment tools to accelerate innovation in enterprise applications and allow developers, and customers, to realize the full potential of the TC55.

Just call us for more details, or for a demo. 0097143365589